Who Is Lincoln Chafee, The Democrat Who Announced A Presidential Exploratory Committee?

Share

No Democrats have officially announced a presidential run yet, but on Thursday, Lincoln Chafee announced that he might run for president. A former senator and governor, Chafee announced his possible presidential race in a video on his website. Who is Lincoln Chafee, you might ask? That's a good question, considering Chafee is not exactly a household name.

Chafee has served as a Republican mayor of Warwick, Rhode Island, a Republican senator for Rhode Island, and an Independent governor of Rhode Island. Wait, isn't he potentially running for president as a Democrat? Apparently his political ideologies have changed over the years, as he switched from a Republican to an Independent and then to a Democrat. At least that shows he's not stuck in his ways.

While a U.S. senator, Chafee was a member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Middle East subcommittee. A strong supporter of President Obama, he was co-chair of Independents and Republicans for Obama in 2008 and then a national co-chair of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. In his announcement video, Chafee says: "Over the last six years, President Obama has led admirably. He has revived our economy."

Here's a look at some of the issues important to Chafee, according to his website.

The Middle Class

Chafee's website calls the middle class the "bedrock of any prosperous community." While in the Senate, he voted against tax cuts for the rich and supports social programs and incentives to help the middle class grow, though his website doesn't name any specifics.

The Environment

Chafee believes environmental sustainability should go hand in hand with the economy. He voted for clean air, clean water, and animal protection bills as a senator and added a lot of green space to Rhode Island while governor.

Social Issues

Chafee is openly pro-choice and signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage as governor of Rhode Island in 2013. According to his website, he opposes infringements on Americans' privacy, such as tapping phones.

Foreign Affairs

Chafee was the only Republican senator who voted against the use of military force in Iraq and is already using Hillary Clinton's vote for military action against her. He told Politico: "I would argue that anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not be president, and certainly anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not lead the Democratic Party into an election."

Images: Chafee 2016 (6)